Researchers at Hewlett-Packard in Bristol are working on experimental e-books which allow users to flick through pages as if they were reading real books, magazines and newspapers.
The lightweight viewers have displays with the same resolution as average laptop computer displays. Much of the innovation lies in the software, however, which allows the user to turn pages using built-in touch pads.
HP researchers envisioned people using similar devices to read books and newspapers downloaded from the web, and view other media such as digital photo albums and films.
However, the researchers admitted that the viewers' display resolution and battery consumption would have to be improved before they could gain wide adoption.
Although HP said it had no plans to sell the viewers as HP products, the company has been testing 30 of the devices internally to gather information on the kinds of devices in which consumers may be interested.